Jason Lewis completes 13-year circumnavigation of globe at Royal Observatory, Greenwich

Jason Lewis completed the first human-powered circumnavigation of the globe at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich on 6 October 2007.

Jason Lewis about to cross the Meridian LineBefore...Jason Lewis crossing the Meridian Line with 'Moksha'...and after. Jason Lewis crosses the Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory with his pedal-powered boat 'Moksha'. Repro IDs F7669-049, -058 Adventurer and environmentalist Jason Lewis crossed the famous Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich at noon on Saturday 6 October 2007 to complete ‘Expedition 360’, the first ever human-powered circumnavigation of the globe.

  • Watch a timelapse video of Jason and the team crossing the Meridian Line 

Jason pedalled up the Thames to the finishing point at Greenwich in his unique pedal-powered boat Moksha (meaning ‘liberation’ in Sanskrit). The Expedition 360 team pushed Moksha up to the Royal Observatory and at noon took the boat across the Meridian Line marking the completion of the circumnavigation, 13 years after Lewis, now 39, set out from the same spot on 12 July 1994.

The expedition’s objectives were to promote environmentally friendly travel and raise awareness of climate change among young people. The Expedition 360 team has also raised $66,500 USD for orphanages and mercy centres in East Timor, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Mumbai.

A smile from Jason LewisA smile from Jason Lewis. Repro ID F7669-093 During the course of the journey, Jason Lewis and the team crossed five continents, two oceans and one sea using only human power – walking, cycling, roller-blading, kayaking, swimming and pedalling a total of 46,505 miles. Lewis faced gale force winds, malaria, altitude sickness, an attack from a salt water crocodile in Australia and being run over by a car in Colorado.  

Jason Lewis takes a celebratory drink on 'Moksha'A celebratory drink on 'Moksha'. Repro ID F7669-210 The Expedition 360 team has also set three world records – the first east-west crossing of the Atlantic by a pedal-powered boat (February 1995, Steve Smith and Jason Lewis); the first solo crossing of the US on roller blades (September 1996, Jason Lewis) and the first pedal-powered crossing of the Pacific Ocean from USA to Australia – San Francisco to Port Douglas (August 2000, Jason Lewis), an 8000 nautical mile voyage which took 178 days. 

Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes said: ‘Congratulations to Jason, Steve and the rest of the team – Expedition 360 is a remarkable feat undertaken by remarkable people. To set out on what must be one of the longest expeditions ever and to succeed, while at the same time raising funds for charities and awareness of climate change is a very worthwhile and laudable achievement.’

The Guinness Book of Records and Explorers Web Inc. (an independent panel of international historians, geographers and explorers) agree that the criteria for a true circumnavigation of the globe are the following: it must

  • start and finish at the same point

  • travel in one general direction

  • reach two antipodes (places diametrically opposite each other on the globe)

  • cross the equator

  • cross all longitudes

  • cover a minimum of 40,000 km

Other notable circumnavigation attempts include that of 16th-century Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who masterminded the first successful attempt to sail around the world in 1519-22; Sir Francis Drake, who led the next voyage round the world some 55 years later; Wiley Post, the first pilot to fly solo around the world in 1933 and Steve Fossett, who flew solo around the world in a hot air balloon in 2002.

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Adapted from Expedition 360 press release. Photographs copyright © National Maritime Museum.

Notes to Editors:

1. Expedition 360 was the brainchild of Steve Smith and was designed to:

  • Complete the first journey around the world by human power

  • Be an educational vehicle for schools and young people around the world

  • Encourage world citizenship between cultures

  • how how ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things

2. View the expedition route map at the Expedition 360 website: www.Expedition360.com